The Stories and Photos of My 365 Journey

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When I started taking a photo a day I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It seemed like a “fun, little project.”  I had no idea that, eight years later, I’d find it impossible to stop.

Impossible.

Habits are created one day at a time, and habit it has become.

The thread that has always been woven through my photo a day project is a focus on the everyday. The typical. The routine. The small details. The boy as he grows.

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Of course, as Ian has grown, my project has changed. The little boy who posed for a thousand photos for just a dollar and who loved dressing up has all too quickly become a preteen who is often moody when the camera comes out and requires a bit more cash to be coerced in front of the lens.

I love that I can see his growth. I love that we can look back at almost every day of his life and see what he looked like. Together the photos show the changes he’s gone through with little glimpses of what our future looks like.

You’ve probably found yourself in that spot of changing your focus. Kids age. People move. Relationships change. Photography remains the constant.

Light remains constant.

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In the years since I started, I’ve tried many techniques. Gotten better at some and forgotten some too. I rely more on my phone than I could have ever imagined.

Tracey Clark, author of Elevate The Everyday and founder of Shutter Sisters, once said that she loves every photo she takes. While I still aspire to have that connection my photography, I understand her more than ever. The photos from the beginning of my project are treasures. I love that I have eight years of 365 photos each (plus those two extra leap year days) to look back on. It’s not the collections that I value most (although I am proud of them).  I value the few special moments that I wouldn’t have captured without a focus on taking a daily photo. They are the photos that happened because I was looking. I was paying attention. I was carrying my camera.

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My photos reveal more than just the stories of a little boy and his dad. My photos also reveal a lot about me. When you look through the photos, you might first notice what is missing. You won’t see a lot of me. Or my dogs. Or my office. There are places in my house I simply don’t photograph. Maybe they are messy or undecorated or unloved. They don’t draw my lens and I can live with that.

 

I think you can also see when I am happiest. Here’s what I notice as I thumb through my 2,920 photos of the day:

  • I take the most photos when we travel
  • I put myself in photos most when we travel
  • I shoot more outside of our house than in our house
  • I love the photos taken in our house more than out (figure that one out)
  • I shoot a lot of vegetables, boys, and coffee
  • I’m drawn to big picture views of my life — the living room, the kitchen, things that let you see more over less
  • I’m drawn to the color red but can’t resist converting images to black and white

I don’t post as much as I used to and I don’t take as many photos as I did in the beginning of my project. My cameras have changed and my lenses have too. My project doesn’t feel so urgent anymore. It happens each day in an unplanned, haphazard way. That is what my life allows right now and I can live with that.

What about you?

What’s your journey been like? Are you speeding up or slowing down? Are you focusing on faces or things? What makes you happiest to photograph?

 


3 Comments

  1. Marcia Fortunato

    I started with CY365 in January 2012 so I’d have something to keep me going in anticipation of my youngest son going off to college. I’ve missed a day here or there and don’t always post, but for the most part it has become habit. What I love most about it is that I can look back and see where I was and what I was doing on any given day. I do a lot of traveling back and forth between Minnesota and Ohio, and it has become a diary of sorts to help me keep track of where I’ve been. A lot of my photos are very random, and I like that – little snippets of life, some good, some not so good, but always a record. Thanks for your vision for this project, and although my participation in the community ebbs and flows, I’m SO glad you’ve decided to continue for another year. Looking forward to it!

  2. Jacqueline Lofthouse

    Four years ago this month I began cy365. For the most part I have been very faithful about taking a photo a day. There have been times that my life was crazy and I didn’t always get them posted, but I am so thankful for the inspiration. Today my granddaughters were looking at all of my books and I realized two things: first my skills have REALLY improved and second I am so very glad that I have those pictures because they really are priceless.

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